The Southeast is not immune to the growth of weeds. Across gardens and lawns alike there are common pests that each and every gardener in the southeast should be aware of.
The first of these pests is Bahia grass. This is a prickly grass that grows in tight, unsightly clumps generally in gardens and around the edges of sidewalks. This is sort of like crabgrass in that it doesn’t spread all that much through its roots but rather through seeds and shoots. This grass cannot be effectively removed through the use of weeding. You can get most of it when you weed but odds are a seed will furrow itself somewhere and you will be battling this quick growing grass in no time. The best was to get rid of this grass is through herbicides be they organic, store bought, or homemade.
Another weed common to the southeast is Crabgrass. This is a lot like Bahia grass but it spreads much more quickly and is an even bigger pain to get rid of. This grass, unlike Bahia grass, does not restrict itself to lose turf to grow. It can pop up anywhere from gravel, the cracks in concrete and sidewalks, flower beds, and just about any other place that there is a dime sized patch of untended ground. Removal is relatively simple if you go about it the right way. This grass can be identified from the tight clump of dry stems with woody stems that have shoots coming off of them that are held tight to the ground. Often if you weed after it rains you can remove both the main root clump and the runners (shoots from the plant that have begun to root) with one swift pull. Also, if you don’t really like to weed, you can use a herbicide that is safe for your other plants and just come back in a day or two and pick up the dried leftovers.
The next weed to look out for is Horse nettle. This is a relatively small plant compared to the Bull thistle. It is a small plant that can easily hide among your lawn or garden until just the opportune time in which it will likely poke you. The leaves of this plant are widely spaced along the woody stem and resemble those of a dandelion almost. The stem is topped with a small purple flower that is, while pretty, a big cause of allergy. Getting rid of this plant is about like any other, you can pull it (wearing gloves so that you don’t get poked), or you can spray it and clean up afterword. It all really depends on your level of comfort with herbicides as this plant can also be taken care of with regular weeding.
The last weed that I’m going to mention is Moss. There are a variety of different kinds that grown in the southeast because of the warm, wet climate. This can grow in gardens, in lawns, on stumps, on yard ornaments, and just about anywhere else you can imagine. The best way to get rid of moss if it is really irking you is to use some product or object that changes the level of the pH in the soil. With any of these common pest proper removal is crucial in preventing infestation and reseeding in the next season.